Dr. Brendan Nelson AO was appointed senior vice president of The Boeing Company and president of Boeing Global effective Jan. 12, 2023. He is a member of the company’s Executive Council.
Nelson is responsible for the company’s global strategy and corporate operations outside the United States, overseeing 20 regional offices in key global markets. His responsibilities include developing the company’s growth and productivity initiatives outside the U.S., forming new business and industrial partnerships, overseeing international affairs, enhancing Boeing’s local presence and providing global functional support.
Nelson joined Boeing in February 2020 and was president of Boeing Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific. He was the senior company leader in the Oceania region as well as chairman of the board for Boeing Australia Holdings. In this role, Nelson coordinated all Boeing activities, led government relations and directed the implementation of Boeing’s strategy to expand its local presence and grow the business. He con-currently served as chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Australia and chairman of the council of the Australian War Memorial.
Prior to joining Boeing, Nelson served as director of the Australian War Memorial for seven years, prior to which he was the Australian Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg, the European Union and NATO from 2010 to 2012. From 1996 until 2009, he was a member of the Australian parliament, serving also as Minister for Education, Science and Training (2001-2006), following which he was appointed Australian Minister for Defence in 2006 when troops were deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan, East Timor and the Solomon Islands. He also oversaw major Defence acquisitions, including ships, helicopters and fighter jets. He was elected leader of the Liberal Party of Australia and federal Opposition from 2007 until 2008.
A physician by training, earlier in his career Nelson was elected National President of the Australian Medical Association (AMA), becoming the youngest person ever to hold this position and was awarded the AMA’s highest honour, the Gold Medal for “Distinguished Service to Medicine and Humanity” in 1995. In recognition of his commitment to public health, he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. Nelson was also appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in January 2016 for his services to the community, the parliament of Australia, diplomacy and cultural leadership.
Nelson has a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from Flinders University, South Australia. He is the recipient of three honorary doctorates from the Flinders University of South Australia (2011); the Australian National University (2017) and the University of South Australia (2019). He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales (2017); honorary life member of the Returned and Services League of Australia (2018); honorary Fellow of the Australian College of Nursing (2021); Rotary Paul Harris Fellow (2001) and Fellow of the Australian War Memorial (2021). He is also an honorary citizen of the Belgian city of Ieper/Ypres (2018) and was appointed Commander of the Order of the Crown, Belgium (2021) for his service to the Belgian people.